Mike Lynch Cartoons: Jean-Jacques Sempé 1932

Jean-Jacques Sempé, who is very best recognised for his illustrations for the Little Nicolas collection of publications with writer René Goscinny, died peacefully on August 11, 2022, at the age of 89. 

 Photo: © AFP


From Lambiek Comiclopedia:

Jean-Jacques Sempé was a French cartoonist and illustrator, whose
crowded cartoon panels gave gentle commentary on the absurdity and
banality of day-to-day city everyday living. Due to the fact the 1950s, his drawings –
together with sequential kinds – have appeared in publications all through
France, like Sud-Ouest Dimanche, Ici Paris and Paris Match…Together
with writer René Goscinny, Sempé produced the charming adventures of ‘Le
Petit Nicolas’ (‘Little Nicolas’, 1954-1965) – initially as a comedian
strip, then as an illustrated text attribute – starring a Parisian college
boy telling about his daily lifetime.

Other than journal cartoons, Jean-Jacques Sempé also illustrated
posters, advertisements, postcards and stickers, as very well as books …
Next the success of ‘Le Petit Nicolas’, publisher Denoël has also
launched about 25 book collections with Sempé cartoons, setting up with
‘Rien N’est Simple’ (1962), ‘Tout Se Complique’ (1963) and ‘Sauve Qui
Peut’ (1964).


The Daily Cartoonist has substantially far more right here.  

As for me, Sempé was a learn and there was so substantially lifestyle in his inkline. He was so renowned that (so I have heard) you could have just mailed him a admirer letter resolved to “Sempé, Paris, France” and it would access the master cartoonist, no trouble. 

Right here are a several of his several, lots of cartoons.


Previously mentioned: the back deal with to CARTOONS THE FRENCH WAY with a wordless Sempé gag.

Below are some of his cartoons from the 1955 paperback CARTOONS THE FRENCH WAY .

Sempé was in his early 20s when he drew these cartoons.


Finest regarded right now for his New Yorker handles, his depictions of Paris life are seminal. The New York Times, in this 2006 posting, has known as his do the job quintessentially French:

“His exact, stylish drawings are often set in a Paris that even
Parisians aspiration of: a city of mansard roofs, superior home windows and
wrought-iron balconies, in which all the automobiles even now seem like Deux-Chevaux
or 1950s Citroëns. Dwarfed by their environment, his figures – smallish
guys, balding, a little portly, with massive noses and tidy minor
mustaches, their double-chinned, nicely coiffed wives in polka-dot
frocks – are French Everymen, dignified and place upon at the similar time.
They even so talk to the international human plight: the
Thurberian electrical power struggle between adult males and gals, the day by day need to have to retain
up appearances, the endless cycle of tiny victories and center-dimension

The composition, the rain, the search on the peoples’ faces: all so very well done, so seemingly effortless.

I like the glance on her deal with.

Yeah, nude types truly do get bored. And chilly.

In the higher than gatefold, you can see his interest to a true feeling of area.

“I showed her! I failed to touch a dish for two months!”

Earlier mentioned: clicking to enlarge will clearly show you how superior the composition is on
this. At initial glance, the squiggly, curly-cue line was, I considered, section
of the shop window — but inside a next, I identified the gag.

A typical gag: a town scene with complex, busy ink operate with a apparent structure of who to observe to comprehend the gag.


Phaidon Push printed a selection of Sempé’s functions. Phaidon maintains a web site, The Nicholas Club, named for the title character in a series of kid’s textbooks by Goscinny and Sempé.

Once more, the cause that so numerous cartoons are wordless is for the reason that you
you should not have to know French to “get” them. Offering cartoons is Europe is
easier when no text are utilised. And which is rather difficult to do!

Over a wonderful, dry gag line. At to start with, I didn’t see him among the dancing natives!

A lot more inbound links:

Christopher Wheeler shares shots of Sempé memorabilia (which is where by I took the earlier mentioned graphic).

Read through On your own Raw profile.

Mike Lynch Cartoons blog (Yes, you happen to be soaking in it now!) has more on French cartoon books in this article.


Over from the hardcover selection of cartoons IN FRANCE Almost nothing IS Easy by
Jean-Jacques Sempé. Copyright 1964 by Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc.

And now a sequence of drawings by Jean-Jacques Sempé for CHARLIE MENSUEL No. 104 September 1977.

Before CHARLIE HEBDO (“Charlie Weekly”), it was CHARLIE MENSUEL (“Charlie Regular monthly”).

This is the entrance and back again handles, and an interior cartoon sequence by Jean-Jacques Sempé from issue number 104, September 1977.

This cartoon is a portrait of males and girls by means of the many years. It
will work like a cartoon and reads like a beautiful small story. You might want
to open these scans onto a new web site so you can truly enjoy all of the
excellent drawing.

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